Economic Diversity of Selective Colleges: Measuring the Impact of “No-Loan” Programs

“For several reasons, knowledge about the effects of no-loan policies is important. First, the finite nature of federal, state, and institutional financial aid dollars makes it critical that attempts to specifically address access for low-income students produce tangible results. Second, because successful efforts to increase national educational attainment levels necessitate a significant increase in the number of low-income students attending college, designing effective financial aid policies to support these efforts is a policy imperative. Finally, given the recognition that low-income but academically prepared students may avoid highly selective institutions because of perceptions of high college prices, it is useful to know whether policies aimed at reducing the price of attendance for low-income students are effective. If the policies are effective, they may offer a model for other institutions to follow in order to expand opportunities for low-income students. Using institutional aid programs in this way could be a useful strategy for combating educational inequality and increasing our nation’s capacity to invest in the talents of low-income youth.”